And is a word which I have been choosing more consciously and consistently since formally beginning my studies in Gestalt therapy. A lesson entitled The Language of Responsibility provided me with an awareness of my usage of the words “but” and “or.” The lesson offered the suggestion to change these words in verbal and written dialogue to “and.” I have personally found this subtle shift to be quite powerful.
Travel teaching has been a vision of mine for some time. As I type, I have crossed into my second week of doing so. The first week of my travels was spent amidst a lovely community in North Carolina. It afforded me the opportunity to escape last week’s Nor’easter. This week I am teaching yoga at The Esalen Institute. Offering at Esalen has been on my professional bucket list, and not something which I’d believed would come to fruition by this point in my career. I feel overcome with gratitude. And, there is an underlying sadness.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever experienced the feeling of “bitter-sweetness” quite so palpably. The truth is, my Soul Momma – my mentor, greatest teacher, and woman who introduced me to the teachings of Gestalt – is not well. I’ve been traveling to The Esalen Institute with her for a number of years. It is truly a magnificent opportunity to be here now solo. And, the opportunity does not present without challenge.
My day to day at Esalen is quite serene. I wake with the sun to meditate. I have the opportunity to lead and to personally participate in yoga daily. I nourish myself with vegetarian meals that have been loving provided for me. I read in the sun. I soak in the hot springs. I write. I converse with like-minded, open human beings. I dance and sing by the fire at night. Picturesque, truly. (Pictured above is a sunset I captured following one of my evening yoga classes.)
All the while, in the back of my mind, I am aware of my Soul Momma thousands of miles away. Unwell. The decision of whether or not to continue on with my travels, despite Mariah’s inability to do so, was not one which was made easily. If not for her gentle nudge, I wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t physically be at Esalen on this trip now. And, I wouldn’t even know that this slice of Heaven on Earth even existed if not for my knowing her.
Another thing that I have taken from my study of Gestalt therapy is to become familiar with my dreams. Dreams are said to be our integration of the sub-conscious. In the weeks leading up to this trip, Mariah said to me in one of my dreams “these are the best of times” Initially, this statement didn’t mean very much to me. In fact, it felt pretty out of context. As this travel continues to unfold, I am realizing that these truly ARE the best of times, And …
With each passing day, I remain committed to BE-ing with this. What better way to ready to step into carrying on this work than through personally embodying it?! And so, I am doing my very best to show up for myself in a way that is loving, kind, and compassionate as I linger in the “and.”
I invite you now to consider aspects of your current life in which you might be experiencing “and” moments. Simply notice, without judgement, your response to these moments. How might you be able to offer yourself loving kindness around this/these aspects of your life today?